Graduation Day Part 2

I am surprised to say this but I’m relieved that this season is over. The Buffy Angel romance did absolutely nothing for me – and is responsible for the sappiest BtVS moments ever. And sap has to be Brief Encounter brilliant for me to care. Obviously it is still great television with some of the best episodes of the entire seven seasons (“The Wish”, “Doppelgangland”) as well as a host of fantastic moments.

I don’t have any problem with the ropey CGI. Growing up on Doctor Who makes me immune to that sort of thing, really. After all, having awesome effects is pointless if your script is written by James Cameron.

Cor blimey, lor love a duck, I do hate it when Buffy ventures into British/English stereotypes – it is always excruciating – from this side of the pond anyway. Though that does remind me – Alexis Denisof’s accent is excellent.

Lovely, lovely single shot in the hospital involving the mayor, Angel and comatose Buffy and Faith.

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I hate Xander so much when he is both judgemental and wrong. And I don’t really get it either. Why is he written like that? Why don’t Willow or Oz say something in Angel’s defence? After all they know that he wasn’t in a position to “save his own ass”. It’s just annoying.

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The Buffy/Faith dream is cool. I like Joss’s dreams.

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“Scream like a woman.” Joss? Why? Why? Why? Why give this line to a woman who knows how strong women can be? A woman who knows how weak men can be. It’s horrible and inappropriate for BtVS.

General Buffy and Angel annoyance: why does Angel not fight all the time vamped out? – particularly when all the other vampires do – and particularly when the minion vampires are always vamped out even when they are not fighting. I know the practical answer but the show should have a reason too.

Talking of minions, the mayor’s vampires are paltry and uninteresting. I miss Mr Trick.

The final showdown must have looked great on paper but, in reality, with the exception of Snyder getting it, it was an bit anti-climatic. Funny that the end of part one with just the two characters was much more exciting than part two’s cast of dozens.

Roll on season 4 and Spike and Tara!

Rewind

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Graduation Day Part 1

Buffy utterly surrenders the moral high ground as soon as she decides that she should murder Faith to save her “lover”. The fact that she fails to actually kill Faith does not mitigate what she does. This is no Ted situation when she was acting in self defence, this is murder. That said, the fight between Buffy and Faith ending with Faith toppling from the balcony is a brilliant BtVS moment.

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Other thoughts: did Joss and co always mean for Wesley to be right all the time? He may be a pompous ass but he’s a righteous pompous ass. I loved the exchange which cumulates in Willow asking if one of the tigers is coming. I’m not sure if I like that they made Faith murder the professor in such a cold blooded way. It makes her almost irredeemable despite that she is, erm, eventually redeemed. I love the return of Anya played wonderfully by Emma Caulfield but I do wonder at her characterisation: 900 years of helping women with their vengeance would surely give her an exceptional insight into human behaviour and not, in fact, the opposite.

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The Prom

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I assume that I will never get “The Prom”. There is plenty to like about it: Joyce isn’t unreasonable, she just asks Angel to think about what he is doing with a teenage girl; Angel’s subsequent nightmare is genuinely horrific; Cordelia’s storyline moves along at last giving both her and Xander some nice character development; we meet Anya again (plus a lovely unsubtle chunk of exposition); and Giles gets to say “blueberry scone” to Wesley.

However, when Giles says “I had no idea that children en masse could be gracious.”, I think that grace and a novelty umbrella isn’t quite a good enough gesture to thank the saviour of Sunnydale High. If I were Buffy and I found out that people knew that I was saving their lives every single night by risking my own that I would prefer something more substantial like a militia force or at least my supplies paid for.

Also, Buffy and Angel’s romance? All I can say, is thank goodness he’s off to star on his own show.

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Choices

Willow is terribly clever, or at least, academically brilliant. Well, I think she is, the episode is a little unclear on this fact.

Wesley was right. Willow (nobody) is worth the lives of thousands. Oz had no right to make that decision.

This is an enjoyable but not outstanding episode though it has some nice interactions between Faith/the Mayor, Faith/Willow and Willow/Buffy.

Thank goodness, the character of Cordelia is moving on at last. I hate the way this “feminist” show has treated a female character in such a one dimensional and stereotypical way.

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The Simpson family

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My dad in the army

Dad in the army

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James Alexander Simpson 12/12/36-03/03/2014

Dad

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Earshot

Danny Strong is great. Somehow, seeing Jonathan in full-on pity me mode, it is rather wonderful to think of Danny’s great success as a scriptwriter.

Now, was it in the original script to have the misdirection so blatant? A telescopic sight to shoot yourself? Well, I know you are only “three foot tall” but you aren’t really that tiny, Jonathan.

This becomes a very funny episode as Buffy’s mind reading kicks in and the Scooby gang get interrogating. And nothing is much funnier than Buffy shouting “Twice?” at her mother’s swiftly disappearing back. Except maybe Giles walking into a tree.

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Enemies

Cordelia waiting for me to blog about “Enemies”. It won’t be worth waking up for.

It has been over a year since I last wrote about a Buffy episode. A year since I last watched one. Shocking.

I wrote about “Doppelgangland” and then we watched “Enemies” and I didn’t write about it. So imagine something like blah, blah Angel is bad, blah, blah Faith is damaged and blah, blah Buffy is sad.

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Leith New Lines

Leith has had in its past rather a lot of railway lines all of which are defunct. However, the evidence of them is everywhere. Leith New Lines by the Caledonian Railway is an example of how much money there was to waste in the late Victorian era. Three passenger stations were built but none were opened! I think that is amazing. The best remaining evidence is at the foot of Leith Walk along Jane Street and Manderston Street where you can get good views of the viaduct and the abutments.

Caledonian Railway bridge

Jane Street abutment

Caledonian Railway bridge

Abutment on the Manderston Street side of Leith Walk

Railway arch

A good view of the height and width of one of the viaduct arches on Manderston Street

Mecca Bingo/Leith Capitol Cinema

The entrance to the former cinema*

SS Explorer mural

Mural on Halmyre Street abutment where the railway line began to ascend/descend

*The size of the actual cinema/bingo hall which is on the other side of the viaduct can be seen here).

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